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RE: Codes

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At present, California has a Democratic governor, two Democratic senators,
and a large Democratic majority in both houses of the legislature.  All of
these Democrats are well-funded with union money.  The members of the
California Building Standards Commission made the decision were appointed
by the governor.  To those who follow California politics, it is not a
suprise that (National Fire Protection Association) NFPA 5000 was selected.

Rick Drake, SE


                      "Schwan, Martin K."                                                                                              
                      <SchwanMK@ci.anchor      To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)'" <seaint(--nospam--at)>                                           
                      07/31/03 09:34 AM        cc:                                                                                     
                      Please respond to                                                                                                
                      seaint                   Subject:  RE: Codes                                                                     

Is it not true that the Governor's (of California) own review committee
recommended the IBC early last year but he choose not to accept their
recommendation?  You should have seen the code adoption process up here in seemed like everyone wanted to adopt the I-family of codes
except for the plumbers, who wanted to keep the UBC.  And it barely passed.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Steve Widmayer [mailto:SWidmayer(--nospam--at)]
      Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 11:15 AM
      To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
      Subject: RE: Codes

      For the last eighteen months or more, various California building
      code groups and other interested parties have been lobying and
      educating the building community for adoption of the IBC.  This has
      meant that the Building Official organizations (local regional
      chapters and CALBO, "Calif. Building Officials"), State Agencies,
      League of California Cities and a number of other organizations have
      recently stood before the California Building Standards Commission to
      express their support for and adoption of the IBC.  All of this
      effort by the users may not change the minds of the Commission.  They
      are either in the process of voting or will very soon and it seems
      that they have not listened to the affected parties, users,
      enforcement officials and practitioners of the codes.

      Steve Widmayer, PE
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jim Persing [mailto:jpersing(--nospam--at)]
            Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 5:02 PM
            To: seaint(--nospam--at)
            Subject: Codes

            I just finished reading the ASCE Practice Periodical (Aug.
            2003) article on NFPA 5000 and it got me to wondering - again,
            when are we, as structural engineers, going to stand up and
            tell our legislators what we want for a code.  We just seem to
            be sitting back waiting for the plumbers and fire chiefs to
            have their way with the codes and then we'll complain to no end
            on this list why we have to deal with 2 codes that are entirely
            different.  And with one that probably won't even work because
            its never been tried (we're all going to be beta testers for
            the NFPA).

            I have been using building codes for 35 years and have lived
            and breathed the UBC for all of that time.  I really don't know
            why I would want to switch.  Even with all of its flaws I think
            it has served us well.  The IBC is a very good compilation of
            the three model codes and was put together by people who have
            been writing building codes forever.  We - the architectural
            and structural community - have wanted a single code for years.
            Now that that is within our grasp we are standing by and
            watching the whiney plumbers and fire chiefs, with all of their
            powerful union money, grab our code from us.

            I have probably not used any of the NFPA codes for more that
            just a few times.  But the NFPA tells me that they have been in
            the code business for 100 years.  Well, why did it take them 97
            years to decide to have a building code?  It's all about money
            and power and their lack of desire to work with anybody else to
            accomplish something for the good of the design community.  And
            who's going to run our building departments?  Fireman and
            plumbers?  When was the last time that you saw a fire chief get
            interested in the results of a concrete cylinder test?  Or who
            cared about bolt inspections or weld tests?

            I don't know where anybody else is on this but I want to see
            one code that I have to work with and understand in depth in
            order to provide my client with the best design possible.  If I
            have to juggle codes, plan review comments, inspection
            criteria, new code sections, different update seminars, etc,
            then I cannot perform the best for any one project.

            When are we going to tell our structural engineers
            associations, ASCE, AISC, ACI, ACEC, NSPE et all, that we want
            the IBC.  We are so good at the technical end of our work that
            we won't step up and face the matters that really count.

            Rant over (or maybe just beginning)
            Jim Persing, PE, SE
            Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Alaska
            & Hawaii

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